THE INDIAN Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 74th anniversary on October 8. The youngest among the Armed Forces, it was formed in 1932 and is set to celebrate its platinum jubilee next year.
To mark the occasion, various activities like cultural programmes, sports and adventure activities, Barakhana, social evening and High Tea with retired air warriors and widows were organised at the Air Force unit at SI Lines, Bhopal.
A cake cutting ceremony was held on October 6 and the station’s senior most Flying Officer Bhawsar (Retd) did the honours. On October 8, an oath ceremony was held at the Unit Complex.
Later, the trophy for the Best Airman of the Year was given to Sergeant RP Dubey and the trophy for Best Non Combat Establishment NC (E) was given to S Nema Local Air Force Commander, Gp Capt Arvind Verma, VSM addressed Air Warriors and explained various welfare schemes launched for ex-service men. He advised all retired Air Warriors to take benefits of such schemes and also contribute to civil society.
Air Warriors were told about welfare activities of ‘Marshal of Air Force and Mrs Arjan Singh Trust’ established by the Marshal of the Air Force on August 12, 2005 to render necessary financial assistance to retired Air Warriors in need. The trust has disbursed Rs 13,23,000 to needy ex-Air force personnel and widows in the last financial year 2005-06.
IAF is now the fourth largest air force in the world and is poised to be an aerospace power. It has proved its operational capabilities globally during various international exercises with the US, French, English air forces.
IAF has also participated in various UN peacekeeping missions and rendered its services during national calamities like floods, earthquakes, tsunami to alleviate the sufferings of the citizens.
Wildlife Week celebrated
DURING ‘WILDLIFE Protection Week’ a bird watching session was organised at the Defence Services Officers’ Institute (DSOI) on October 2 from 6.30 am to 8.30 am. Beautiful lush green grass and small ponds along with a large variety of trees make Sultania Infantry Lines, an ideal birding spot.
Participants enjoyed interacting with resource persons Kaustubh from BNHS and Faiyaaz from Delhi University. Along with the checklist of birds in the area, a list of plants was also made based on observations by Faiyyaz.
Resource persons said some of the best bird watching could be done in our own back yards. Many colourful birds were there to see everyday and it was easy to learn and identify birds that live around us.
Birds that were spotted included, Black redstart (1), Red Vented Bulbulna (1), Purple Sunbird(4), Indian Robin(2), Black Bettern (2), Red Wattled Lapwing (1), Brahminy Starling (2), Laughing Dove (1), Jungle Babbler (4), White Throated Kingfisher (1),Greenish leaf Warbler (1) , Small Green Bee-Eater (1), Koel (1), Black Drongo (1), Yellow Wagtail (1) , Asian Pied Starling (1), White Breasted Waterhen (1), Long Tailed Shrike (1), Coppersmith Barbet (1).
A painting competition was also organised for children on the theme of ‘wildlife’, which received an overwhelming response.
Did you know?
THE ROOTS of military flags i.e. standards and colours are traceable to Greek and Roman history. In early medieval period their use became imperative when heavy body armour made recognition of warriors almost impossible. To allow their followers to identify them in battle, leaders bore ensigns of heraldry about their person on their shields, on their armorial banners and pennons attached to their lances and floating in the wind high above their heads.
Banners borne in the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD and the Battle of Standards in 1138 AD provide some definite indications of their use. The use of the flag in warfare and ceremonials had become a standard practice in ancient and medieval India also. After Independence a new meaning was given to the flag, reflecting Indian traditions and came to denote various regiments of the armed forces.
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